Date = 2nd Feb 2020
Run Number = 1897
Venue = The Standing Order
Location = Stevenage
Hare/s = Sludge
Beer = Lymestone Stone Faced; Yeovil Posh IPA; Loddon Hocus Pocus
Runners = 7
Virgins = 0
Visitors = 0
Newies = 0
Après = 0
Hounds = 0
Total = 7
Membership = On a Loopy Trail!
Back to the normal run days on a Sunday, but it seems last week's change to a Saturday, to celebrate Rabbie Burns & the Chinese New Year may have resulted in the low turnout this morning, for it seems that the antiseptic qualities of the Scotch could not ward off the lurgy that may have been caught later in the day. While Milf, Paxo & others succumbed, including TBT OBE, it’s funny how those who had more than one Scotch didn’t appear have any issues with feeling under the weather?
With so many off ill, probably suffering from a bug named after a bland Mexican beer, the Hare had words that were hardly inspiring to the few who had managed to make it to Stevenage Old Town. A grand total of seven gathered outside the Wetherspoons, earlier inside of which Mr X had to explain to FWB that the Pub Chain is called Whetherspoons, while the Pub is called the Bankers Draft.
In his Chalk-talk, the Hare mentioned it was usual Herts Markings, that there were two Held CHKs & that due to the lack of runners this morning it could be a very long Trail! All of which had a collective groan from My Lil', Wanktlers, Tent Packer, FWB & Mr X. Flanders remained impassive, being on 'Home territory' she was able to drop out of the Trail at any time. My Lil’ should have counted his lucky stars that the Hare had put a CHK right outside of the Pub.
As the small, but perfectly formed Pack set off, the Hare went back to retrieve bags of sweets from Mrs Mallet's car, which Tent Packer had given a run out this morning, leaving the liner back in dock. Having been sent off the few yards to run on to Basil's Road, by the Broken Seal, the Hash would see this marked as a Beer Stop at 14:00hrs.
A southward turn on Church Street would lead the Keenies down the parallel road to the east of the High Street, running down behind the rear of the shops to a CHK by one of the short alleyway cut-throughs to the High Street. Wanktlers crossed to search Albert Street, My Lil' continued down Church Road, while Mr X went through to look on the High Street. Having passed by two down & outs, Mr X was soon back by them again as "On!" was called from out of Church Road. In fact "On!" Was being called in both directions when Mr X returned, so unwittingly he decided to follow on behind My Lil' who eventually stopped at a T!
Wanktlers was now out of view as the rest started off up Albert Road, they would soon discover that this was due to the fact he was on the loop through the passageways linking the homes on Southend Road, this would be the first of many loops they would run, this one going around through to Inn Close, near to the end of Church Street.
My Lil' now chose to search Letchmore Road away to the Northeast, believing the Hare would run out toward St Nicholas School, he would be wrong, as would Wanktlers who was looking off down Pound Avenue but neither called. Tent Packer was almost On Trail, but was led astray by Holy Trinity Church, or was the lure the Coach & Horses next door? He would be put back on Trail as Mr X came around to spot an arrow pointing the way on to an alleyway running behind the small Millennium Gardens, then on through to the corner of the main section of the King George V recreation grounds.
Tent Packer & Mr X led the way out toward the end of Ditchmore Lane, an old route that these days is no more than a narrow access road, located behind Pets at Home & Aldi, to access the playing fields. Then arrows directed them away from the outer corner of the car park to head away to the North, on a path up toward the old pavilion. My Lil' took advantage to short cut over the green & meet up with them as Mr X had correctly predicted the Trail would head eastward along edge of the recreation ground.
It was noticed that the snowdrops were out as the Trail moved along the treeline, leaving the junior soccer matches behind the moved on from the Old Town area to enter Pin Green, now the Trail came up on to the Greenway, passing by the small parade of shops & over to a CHK on the corner of the Junction with Sish Lane. Where an ambulance was sitting on the edge of the road & Mr X wondered if Kylie was out on the Hash?
The Hare arrived from his short-cut up Sish Lane as Wanktlers now lead the way eastward along the said Lane until reaching Miller way, a side street off to the south, here the FRBs were led down this residential road & then after short trot away to the east on the arcing Wornham Avenue, complete with parked up Police car to reiterate the Hash were in Stevenage, this would be another one of the Hare’s loops around by front gardens that looked like they had been fly-tipped, in order to wear out the Keenies.
A northward run up from Claymores to Broadview would return the FRBs out on to Sish Lane, where the Hare was spotted at the end of the road, where the first Held CHK was found. Here Liquorice Allsorts were handed out, Mr X questioned what else the small phallic looking Bertie Basset liquorice resembled? If Pebbledash had been there then she’d have guessed it straight away!
Time to resume the Trail & Mr X was the only one keen on searching through the underpass on Grace Way, he was correct & arrows were found leading around on to the wide cycleway footpath. My Lil’, Wanktlers & Tent Packer all crossed over the main road above the subway to follow on as Mr X began to move away to the northeast. The Trail continued along the route as it passes beneath Lonsdale Road to run up between the front of the homes on the left & the fenced off rear gardens of properties to the right. The Trail came out to a CHK point where the footpath splits at the corner of Archer Road, which is an area like a tree like main road with branch like side streets off of the main road, all having the same name.
While Wanktlers searched the south-eastern option, Mr X was playing a hunch that the Hare would follow a route of a Trail he had set through this little section of Silkingrad. [Silkingrad was the name given to Stevenage when it was originally developed, the plans drawn up by Lewis Silkin were compared to grey concrete estates being constructed in Communist Russia at the time, the railway station was temporarily renamed Silkingrad by the locals upon his visit. Ironically his vision of an urban utopia where "a new type of citizen, a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride" would be created is now a lot of faded concrete!]
Back to the Trail & sure enough, Mr X picked up the Trail on a the north-eastern option & this would turn due north as it led along a path that lays between the school grounds on to the west & the front of the homes to the east, these homes having no parking out front as it was just a footpath, some pondered on where the locals park their vehicles?
Anyhow, Mr X found the arrows leading off to the east on one side road & even though he suspected that this would be another loop, he took to following the Trail & so My Lil’, Tent packer & Wanktlers all followed on to run a short way up the main Archer Road to the north, then coming back through another side arm of Archer Road to the west & back to the original path, where Mr X discovered FWB was striding along as the Hare offered her up a Short Cut!
Emerging out on to Webb Rise a CHK was found, Mr X was now going to continue a run of picking the correct option at a series of CHKs. He crossed over the north side of the road, then searched the entrance to Hampson Park, a Green Flag Park no less, as the signage informed the Hash. The other sing was one requesting Learner Drivers do not use the car park for practising their driving skills!
The Hare hadn’t finished with his little loops & teasing distractions, as the Arrows ran around the Community Centre in an anti-clockwise route before coming off to run along the main path way to the west. The Trail passed by an area behind the trees that is home to outdoor exercise equipment, which was being used by some of the locals. Mr X included the exercise equipment on his Trail through the Green Flagged Park, the Hash did have a go on the fore mentioned equipment.
The arrows headed in to the small woodland & at a fork in the path there was a CHK. Still playing his hunch that the Trail would be similar to his own one, Mr X continued westward & out toward Lonsdale Road, where he took the downward ramp to the underpass & out to the west side of the road, where the Trail was picked up as it headed northward along the edge of Lonsdale Road.
Mr X would be caught up with as the Trail ran along from Trumper Road & down to Bader Close, My Lil’ got ahead of him after the descent on one of the ramps down in to the small estate, there were a set of direct steps, one arcing path to the right & a zig-zag path with rails to the left, which Mr X though was rather like one of the ‘Relativity’ picture by Dutch artist M.C. Escher, where all the steps go off in every direction in an optical illusion]
My Lil’ would take up the lead as it led around on a loop by the front of the homes to come back at the end of Trumper Road, Mr X pointed out that a lot of the Trail now had handrails & wondered if the Hare had utilised these on the way around setting the Trail?
Anyhow, the FRBs were now lead down in to the open, sunken centre of the roundabout on the junction with Grace Way & Martins Way, here a Held CHK as found. Some found that by this part of the Trail they were getting hot, Mr X & Tent Packer were two who removed their tops in an attempt to try & cool down, they weren’t kept hanging around for too long as all of the little loops meant that FWB & Sludge arrived about 5 minutes after the Keenies, here more sweets were dished out, this time Wine Gums were offered by the Hare.
Ready to go again & the Pack all headed westward on the cycleway footpath as it ran parallel to Martins way. Wanktlers carried on by an arrow pointing away to the up-ramp located almost behind the Trail. Mr X was keen on the desire line in the wooded strip up by the school grounds to the east, but "On!" Was called up to the road bridge where Weston Road crosses the busy Martins Way.
At least it was a scenic trot out toward St Nicholas Church then turning off just before the religious edifice to follow Rectory road around to the south, leaving the road as it took to the footpath of ‘The Avenue’ which leads through a small wooded area & horse paddocks to come down to the next bridge spanning Martin's Way.
On the southern end of the footbridge an unusual Hash Marking of a spiral was found. This indicated that the down ramp was a keeping turning around & around to descend to the start of the next larger section of 'The Avenue'.
Now on a footpath lined with broadleaf trees, the Hash began to move away from Martin Way to head south-westward by the back of the Sir Thomas Alleyne School grounds. The name for Stevenage may very well derive from the Old English for Stiff Oak! [Whoa there Pebbledash! – Ed]
Tent Packer & My Lil' got a head of the rest & they soon spotted going were off on one of Sludge's Favourite footpaths, which runs between the Thomas Alleyne’s school grounds, named after the rector of the town who founded the free Grammar School for boys in 1558! This path turns & leads out to the back of the old town, little did Tent Packer & My Lil’ know, but this was set as a Falsie.
Upon his arrival at the footpath Mr X wanted to keep a check on the two who had gone up there, but he could not see them & so said he'd though that they'd do a 'Sludge' & short cut back to the On Inn. Mr X was to be proved wrong as they did return, Sludge was quick to dob Mr X in! It was also here the Hare admitted that the Trail so far had left a few feeling “Loopy!”
The Trail continued down to an arrow just beyond small Millie Spinny park playground, with its various bits of play equipment, one of which Mr X demonstrated to FWB on how to use it. Here Wanktlers was the only one to head northward along the edge of the green space & then across to the west to come out on to North Road on one final loop, then taking a route across the road & down toward the Old Town
The rest of the Pack had already short cut through two underpasses to come out at the War Memorial end of the green space. The On Inn was found, leaving just one more subway to a pedestrian crossing at the northern end of the High Street, however this being Stevenage meant caution was needed as a red van wasn't going to obey the Highway Code & didn’t even consider stopping for the Hash to cross safely.
The Hash settled in to the Pub, enjoying a couple of nice Ales. When it came to the Down-Downs the Hare was rewarded for a good Trail, which took an hour & 5 minutes to get around, albeit with some luck with Mr X finding a lot of correct Trails. Wanktlers was out for completing his 100 Herts Hash Trail, he will have to be presented with his tankard at a later date when TBT OBE is feeling a bit better.
Finally My Lil' was out for being competitive on the Hash, when he was overheard bemoaning that Her Fault had complete the series of
Stuart Macbride's ‘Logan Rae’ detective books, he was missing Broken Skin from the series, which Mr X had managed to get a copy on-line!
By the time the Hash had completed all the honours, there was no time to go to the Broken Seal, as most headed off to the Chequers watch the dismal match against France in the Six Nations.